LinkedIn and the Promise of Minority Equality in the Age of Internet Access

Yesterday, I posted an image Janna took over the weekend to my social media circles, and I was surprised to read this morning how concerned some were over what I thought was a joyous image of young Black females in the urban core being involved in a connected electronic Age.  The action was happening on LinkedIn, and here is that discussion — I don’t know if you can read it by default, or if you have to be linked to me first or not — and here is the image that started it all:

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Subliminal Sexual Discrimination via Voices on a Train

I read something interesting online a while ago, but I can’t remember the source material.  The gist of the story was that the pre-recorded automated announcements you hear in train stations — and other public transit hubs and modes — are purposefully driven by subconscious sexual stereotypes.  The female voices you hear provide “information” about the current stop and next stop, while the pre-recorded male voices give you warnings and orders like, “Get out of the way!”

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No PATH Photos for You!

The other day, I was riding the PATH Train from New Jersey to Manhattan and the Conductor — he’s the guy who manages opening and closing the doors and making announcements while the Engineers “drives” the train — came up to an Asian couple and demanded the woman delete the photograph of the train she took right before boarding. The woman was confused and embarrassed, but she followed the order and the Conductor watched her remove the photograph from her cellphone.  If she’d been using a traditional film camera, would the Conductor have confiscated her entire film roll?  The woman’s boyfriend took a more aggressive perch, and said, “There are no signs prohibiting taking pictures.”

The Conductor brusquely retorted, “There are signs everywhere.  Look for them.”  Then the Conductor left the car.  A few minutes passed and the Conductor came running back into our car to retrieve the train keys he’d left dangling in the control panel switchbox so he could bawl out the woman.  I thought to myself, “Which is a greater threat to the people riding a PATH train?  A tourist taking a photograph, or a Conductor who leaves his keys behind for the taking?”

Continue reading → No PATH Photos for You!